Egypt has withdrawn its support for the US-led challenge to the European Union’s moratorium on genetically modified crops, in a move which could come as a blow to the US, which wants support from developing countries for its WTO challenge.
According to a letter sent by Egypt’s EU ambassador, Soliman Awaad, to the European Consumers’ Organisation, the government of Egypt took the decision to withdraw its support for the case ” in conscious emulation of the need to preserve adequate and effective consumer and environmental protection, and with the desire to reduce further distortions and impediments to international trade that may result due to the further pursuit of this matter within the WTO,” reported the Financial Times.
US officials challenged the claim, maintaining that Egypt would support the WTO case. Egypt has reportedly not filed any documents at WTO headquarters in support of the case.
The US announced earlier this month that it had finally decided to go ahead with launching a WTO challenge against the EU, with support from Egypt, Canada and Argentina.
“That is pretty embarrassing for this ‘coalition of the willing’,” a European Commission official was quoted by the Financial Times as saying in response to Egypt’s withdrawal, adding that the US had “put the group (of complainants) together in a total haste – so really it’s no wonder the whole thing is now falling apart”.
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